Researchers at the National Institute on Aging will distribute a recently established mouse cDNA microarray/clone set containing 7,409 unique genes to 20 designated academic centers worldwide.
The new set, known as NIA 7.4K cDNA set, is the second cDNA mouse clone set released by the NIA. The first, NIA 15K, was distributed in May 2000. There is essentially no overlap between these two clone sets, said Minoru S.H. Ko, M.D., Ph.D., head of the Developmental Genomics and Aging Section in the NIA's Laboratory of Genetics. In addition, all cDNA clones in the NIA 7.4K set were purified by single colony isolation and sequence-verified, and more than half were prepared by a new procedure that yields long full-length cDNAs (average size 3-4 kb).
Dr. Ko and his colleagues hope the immediate release of this additional high-quality DNA clone set to the scientific community will foster institutional collaboration and sharing of resources that could accelerate research of mouse models for human diseases. The NIA 7.4K cDNA set also may help speed the analysis of changes in the expression of many genes during aging and stem cell differentiation.
"This new set includes genes expressed in a variety of stem cells, early embryos, and newborn organs, such as the heart and brain. It thus provides a unique collection of genes that are normally underrepresented in cDNA collections and microarrays," Dr. Ko said. "We are enthusiastic about using this new clone set to do some exciting biology, and we are confident that many other investigators worldwide will share our enthusiasm."
The 20 academic centers have each agreed to redistribute this microarray/clone set to at least eight additional end users on demand. End-users will be allowed to produce and distribute microarrays, but will not be permitted to redistribute the clone set. All centers and end users will be allowed to charge nominal fees in order to recover costs of materials, shipping and handling. For details about acquisition of either the NIA 15K or NIA 7.4K clone set from a designated center, visit the following NIA website: http://lgsun.grc.nia.nih.gov  .
The NIA's intent in making clone sets available is to encourage archiving of microarray studies in a shared database for analysis by many laboratories. The data then can be collated and studied in ways that can provide more insight than can come from a single laboratory. Use of the NIA cDNA clone sets carries no collaboration requirement that would constrain usage, so that all laboratories may have unencumbered access to the microarrays.
The NIA is part of Federal Government's Department of Health and Human Services' National Institutes of Health. The NIA is the lead Federal agency supporting and conducting biomedical, social, and behavioral research and training related to aging and the diseases and special needs of older people.